Member opinions: Proud to have caring citizens and parents among us

Awfully proud to have such outspoken members:

Brad’s reservations, suggestions, and dreams on the subject of the Durham Chapel Hill light rail system can be read in this weekend’s News & Observer.

Tim’s suggestions for parents who really care about the sports skills of their kids should read the following OpEd:

Dear Editors,

Enclosed is an OpEd submission for your newspaper, regarding the recent Olympics and future youth athletic development. I am a local physician, 25 year hockey coach, former board member of Triangle Youth Hockey NC, and current Instructor for the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program.

Now that the Olympics are over, it’s time for introspection as to whether or not U.S. Olympic athletes reached their potential. How could a country such as Norway, one sixtieth the size of the U.S. bring home more medals? Are Norwegians better athletes than Americans? Do they develop athletes in a way to reach their potential? Maybe if the U.S. would develop all our young citizens to be better athletes, could we have a bigger group of candidates to choose from, as they reach prime sport-specific training years?

Until most recently, the United States has lacked a consistent message, with a plan, for long term athletic development of its youth. Starting in the 1980s, researchers such as Eric Ericcson, and Istvan Balyi, have identified stages in athletic development that correlate with growth and development of children. For instance, between age’s six to eight is a great window for the child to acquire agility, balance and coordination, and between nine through twelve is an opportune time for skill development in various sports. Twelve through fourteen years training to train abilities develop, and after 16 years old, a person is able to devote intensive time and effort to one or two sports, training to compete. Younger than that, over competing in a single sport, and undertraining for what the individual is ready to learn at a specific age leaves the athlete underdeveloped. That’s not to say you can’t acquire skills such as dribbling a basketball, swinging a club, or learning intricate footwork when you’re 20 or 25 or 50 years old, it’s just that between ages of 9 to 12, the body and brain are optimally able to develop a new skill. Moreover, the balance a six year old acquires stays with her, as muscle memory will retain that ability over time – “just like riding a bike”.

Many youth sports organizations in the United States over the last 30 years have facilitated adult training rituals and rules on children, with over competing in adult games, and undertraining the athlete for their appropriate athletic developmental stage. We displaced the sandlot and the backyard frozen pond on which to practice skills over and over. The United States does not have a sports ministry to oversee how we train youth, so it has been up to the youth sports governing bodies, such as USA Hockey, to come up with player development guidelines for all our young athletes to follow. The U.S. is late to the game, so to speak, as many European sports ministries and Canada have instituted these long term athletic development guidelines twenty years ago. USA Hockey implemented many changes to their player development system starting in 2007, and in 2009 introduced the American Development Model, with the encouragement of cross ice play and small area games devoted to skill development. The ultimate goal, of course, is to maximize time on the ice, maximize puck touches, and minimize time standing and watching, or even worse, in the car driving from tournament to tournament.

In 2014, the US Olympic Committee, partnering with various sport’s national governing bodies, adopted the ADM guidelines “ to help Americans realize their full athletic potential and utilize sport as a path toward an active and healthy lifestyle”. Assuming all American youth sports governing bodies develop sport specific guidelines with long term athletic development in mind, children will develop appropriate athletically, so they can have the opportunity to decide in high school, or even college, which sport they find the most fun and are truly passionate about. LTAD brings sport back to its roots for the young athlete, to let them develop their bodies in age appropriate fashion, and have more fun doing so, which will add to the likelihood of continuing into adulthood. Not everyone can be an Olympic athlete, but everyone can be an athlete. In Europe, many nations have incorporated these notions into their school curriculums, allowing for daily exercise along these guidelines.

The single most determining factor of whether a person will continue to participate in a sport throughout adulthood is whether they’ve had fun playing sports growing up. If we want our nation to have a healthy active adult lifestyle, investing in long term athletic development programs in our youth is the way to go. And we might just see our Olympic teams start to bring home a little more hardware from the Games.

Christmas row at Jordan Lake - from drought to flood 3 times a year

Last year’s Christmas post was asking “where did all the water go” - all lakes were empty - UNC Rowing and Duke Rowing joined us on Jordan Lake because we were the only ones who hat at least some water left.

Since then, Jordan was flooded 3 times - Florence, Michael, and now again for Christmas. Means in the 5 years we row on Jordan, we had one flood in the first 4 years and then 3 floods during the last year - and the next flood is already in the 10 day forecast. Jordan has been over “normal” pool since August 12th.

The positive on all this: All public ramps are closed and we have the ENTIRE lake to ourselves. All it needs to take advantage of this unique circumstances is a hike through the woods and a pair of neoprene socks to make sure toes warm up quickly after the wet launch.

We are working on writing our names in the lake (obviously still need some practice):

christmas row.jpg
christmas water level.png

It seems we will have the lake to ourselves for much longer. Even though the levels are coming down, there are another 2 inches of rain in the forecast further up North - which will lift the lake level by another foot or two.

We wish everybody a Happy New Year with normal rain patterns.

Christmas came early - for the Big Dudes!

NOT the big dude boat we had in mind …

NOT the big dude boat we had in mind …

We would like to thank #HudsonBoatworks @beAshark for being responsive to our needs and really innovative.

We needed a 4x and a 2x for a 245 pound average crew weight (yes, we have some really big dudes).

We contacted all North American boat manufacturers and distributors. Only Hudson was responsive and came up with an idea to match our need.

If all goes well, the new boats will be here mid January.

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We learned a few things in the process:

  • Glen B. of Hudson is an absolute perfectionist

  • Glen B. is volunteering his time and effort to help out the entire boat building industry by challenging a patent that might have put many small boat builders out of business. Thank you very much!

  • No sales rep believes that there are rowers weighing more than 250 pounds (and with a big wallet)

  • Sadly, Jakob Kaschper no longer makes boats. His fast, high quality. long lasting boats will be missed.

So, if you have put on too many pounds since your college rowing glory, there are no more excuses for not rowing again. Thanks to Brad we have a boat for you!

Adopt a national team rower!

Being an elite rower in the US is tough. I am sure most of the US rowers have dreamed at one point of their career about having been born in the UK, Germany, Australia, or New Zealand - countries that take real good care of their rowers.

The US selection process does not make things easy for the athletes, too (and reamins incomprehensible for all outsiders).

One athlete who - in our opinion - somewhat defied the system is Olivia Coffey (little sister of our coach - so we are biased).

She became world champion in the 4x in Aiguebelette - the huge surprise of that event (we were there and felt the surprise in the grandstand when the Germans got beat).

In Rio she was an alternate - only shooting pool with the Aussie coaching team - instead of doing what she does best: rowing. We did not understand.

Then she disappeared from the US and reappeared in Cambridge. Getting an MBA.

For the first time being exposed to European coaching. You have to read her interview where she speaks about the differences - Cambridge building vs. the US emphasizing testing. She must have impressed the Brits - she got promoted from 6th seat in February to stroke the 2018 Boat Race - winning it in a dominant fashion.

So the question was: how will US Rowing react? They did the unexpected: they put her on the team and let her stroke the W8+ to a gold medal at the Worlds in Plovdiv. The whole thing reminds us a bit of GB Rowing and Constantine Louloudis.

So like Louloudis did before her, we hope that Olivia Coffey will win gold in the Tokyo Olympics. Being beamingly happy and freshly engaged and winning the US Rowing fan choice award for sure helps with the motivation to do the grueling winter training - long, boring, hard miles.

We hope that US Rowing has the foresight to continue to invest in her and we hope she stays healthy till then.

Would be great if she could better her father’s Olympic silver from Montreal with a gold from Tokyo.

We wish her all the best and hope to see her again at one of our CHaOS outings.

REAL World Champions hang out with CHaOS

Olivia Coffey (two times World Champion, stroke of winning Cambridge in this year’s boat race) and her fiance Michael Bloomquist (World Champion in his own right) wanted to row with CHaOS today.

Unfortunately the flooded marina and the weather gods did not cooperate.

Tough land training instead:

Real world champions.jpg

If you have not done so yet, please give Olivia your vote in the US Rowing Fan Awards!

We feel honored that Liv and Michael took time out of their busy schedule to meet with us and are looking forward to seeing them at the FISA World Championships in Linz Oggersheim next September!

Head of the Hooch Results: Reason to be proud!

ALL our boats finished in the top 6 of their event and age group!!!

We couldn’t be happier and more proud of our rowers.

Rank Event Raw time Corrected time (Sunday events 2K)
1st Women’s 1x Celia 8,40.3 7.39.0

2nd Men’s Masters 4x 15.48.7 14.18.7 (2nd overall, 2nd 50+)

4th Men’s 1x Richard 7.49.7 7.01.7

5th Men’s Masters 2x 17.22.5 15.45.3 (5th overall, 5th 50+)

5th Men’s Masters Lightweight Avram (for Carolina) 9.27.4 7.22.4 (pretty brave man to go out in these conditions)

6th Men’s Master 8+ 17.24.1 16.05.7 (10th overall, 6th 50+)

6th Mixed masters 4x 17.12.3 15.59.4 (9th overall, 6th 50+)

6th Men’s 1x Tim 7.50.2 7.05.2

6th Women’s Master 4x 7.50.1 7.41.1 (6th under 50, 15th overall)

Pictures and detailed report to follow!

Raw times will define training pairings for this winter … just kidding.

Hurricane Florence forces the 12 going to the FISA Worlds to train on the erg!

Well, this should have been the last week of hard training before the FISA Masters World Championships in Sarasota.

Hurricane Florence had other plans (always those Italians …).

Tuesday night practice was spent fetching the trailer of UNC Men’s rowing team in Chapel Hill. Their Coach Micah Boyd generously offered us their trailer (ours still stolen - transporting hay and straw on some farm in Lee County) to bring our boats, oars and material to safety.

Wednesday morning: Last training. Brutal 5 times 500 meters all out.

Wednesday night: Conditions would have been perfect for practice. However, we had to load all our club’s belongings on the UNC trailer.

Half of our our members came to help.

Part of the members who helped load all CHaOS possesions on the trailer. All in all 50% of membership came to help. Yes, that is sweat on the shirt of the famous CFO. Proud of the ethics of our members!

Part of the members who helped load all CHaOS possesions on the trailer. All in all 50% of membership came to help. Yes, that is sweat on the shirt of the famous CFO. Proud of the ethics of our members!

For a club that started with 4 boats 4 years ago, we have grown to quite some size … Total of 16 boats (all but 2) on the trailer, all oars, riggers, slings, and everything else

Looks empty without our boats - Felix the trash man picking up all the trash before the flood washes it away.  If predictions are correct there will be water up to Felix’ waist - or even higher.

Looks empty without our boats - Felix the trash man picking up all the trash before the flood washes it away. If predictions are correct there will be water up to Felix’ waist - or even higher.

In 3 days this dock will be so deep under water that only the last big section and our white dock will be visible. Everything else will be under water!!!

Our equipment in safety: Located in the Crosswinds boat yard with an escape route through Apex Boatworks, 248 feet over sea level, 8 feet above flood level and far away from any tree that could be blown over.

A big Thank you very much! to John of Crosswinds Boating Center as well as Steve and Brandon of Apex Boatworks for your help and support. It is good to have a great landlord and generous neighbors.

What next?

  • Friday: weights in the morning, erg in the evening

  • Saturday: Erg - stay tuned for instructions from Richard M.

  • Sunday: Erg in the morning - potentially move trailer in the afternoon

  • Monday: first day of a week full of erging

  • September 23rd: Asheville Rowing Club comes to pick up our boats for Sarasota. Thank you very much!

  • Thursday September 27th: First 3 races in Sarasota at the FISA World Master Championships

Missing Trailer: $ 2,000 finders fee!

When we wanted to pick up our trailer last Thursday at our Lee County NC storage location it was ... GONE.

Lock at gate was forcefully opened and the trailer is no longer there.

WE NEED THIS TRAILER BACK! Otherwise our participation at the FISA World Masters Regatta in Sarasota (FL) at the end of Septemberis jeopardized  - one year of hard training in vain.

We therefore offer a $2,000 finders fee for the recovery of this trailer!

It is an 2005 Aluminum Allegheny CST-27 Trailer with VIN #1A95A382X5C460481if and was last seen at 6066 Lower River Road, Sanford, NC.

If you know where it is, contact us in confidence at .

Thank you for your help!


Safety is here: last gap in fleet closed

CHaOS just completed the acquisition of a safety launch that can also be used for coaching.

The good news: it handles easily and doe not draw a wake wake even with the entire Claire/Zach family (all 2.5 of them) and Tim on it.

Thank you Tim, Claire, Zach, Felix, and all the other members who contributed towards the boat and its storage.

First official use of it: Capsizing class. Details to follow!



SE Regionals: CHaOS medalled in every event entered: 2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze

Rob B, Tim, Richard S., and Richard M. had very successful 2 days at the US Rowing Master Sprints Southeast:

  • Tim and Richard M. won the Masters E category 2x in their fastest time ever
  • won the Masters E Category 4x (beating both Catawba boats- hope to repeat that at the HOOCH)
  • came in second in the Open 4x (only beaten by 4 College of Charleston students rowing as Atlanta Juniors)
  • Richard M. came in 3rd in the category D-E Men's 1x final (Tim qualifuied for the Final as second in his Heat, but took a swim with the alligators right at the start of the Final - allegedly because of the seaweed prevalent on the course)
  • Richard M came in 3d in the Open Mens 1x, Tim came in 4th.

CHaOS is listed in the middle of the club points ranking. If they had awarded an efficiency trophy (as they now do at the Nationals), CHaOS whould have most likely won it. What other club did medal in every event they entered?


Next: Diamond States Sprints in Middletown - then off to the FISA World Masters in Sarasota.